National Crime Agency
Derby man headed up international people smuggling network
A Derby man has been jailed in France for heading up a criminal network that smuggled hundreds of migrants into the UK.
Rekawt Kayani, aged 36, was arrested by National Crime Agency officers at his home address in the Normanton area of Derby in May 2016, as part of a joint operation being run with the French police.
He was involved in numerous smuggling runs including one in June 2015 when 68 migrants from Afghanistan, China and Vietnam were found inside four lorries at the Harwich International Port.
Investigators also found Kayani orchestrated runs from Dieppe to Newhaven, and in January 2016 seven migrants were found crammed inside a concealed compartment in the back of a van (pictured right). Five of the migrants were from Vietnam and two were from Iraq.
Following his arrest, which was carried out using a European Arrest Warrant, Kayani was extradited to France to face trial alongside a number of others.
On Monday 24 September at a court in Lille he was sentenced to seven years in prison, a 100,000 euro fine. Upon his release from custody he will be banned from entering France for life.
Seven other members of the gang were also convicted and sentenced to between 18 months and seven years in prison.
NCA senior investigating officer Mick Pope said:
“Gangs involved in organised immigration crime treat migrants as nothing more than a commodity they can profit out of.
“Individuals found as part of this investigation had to endure horrendous conditions, crammed inside small compartments or locked in the back of lorries for hours on end.
“We are working with international partners such as the French authorities to disrupt these criminal networks and arrest and prosecute those responsible wherever possible.
“In this case we were able to use a European Arrest Warrant to make that possible.”
The operation to arrest Kayani involved Project Invigor, the UK’s Organised Immigration Crime Taskforce set up to target the criminal networks behind people smuggling impacting on the UK and the European borders.
It is led by the NCA and includes Immigration Enforcement, Crown Prosecution Service, Border Force and the Home Office working in the UK and internationally.
Latest News from
National Crime Agency
Op Stovewood: Two more men arrested as part of NCA investigation11/02/2019 13:15:00
Two men aged 37 and 34 from Masborough, Rotherham were arrested on Tuesday 5 February on suspicion of rape and sexual assault, as part of ongoing investigations under the NCA’s Operation Stovewood.
Four arrests made over Hailsham ‘gun factory’08/02/2019 16:15:00
The National Crime Agency, supported by Sussex Police, yesterday arrested four people as part of an NCA investigation into an alleged gun factory found in East Sussex in August 2018.
Son of Moldova’s ex-PM renting £1000 per day Knightsbridge apartment forced to hand over nearly half a million pounds08/02/2019 14:15:00
A London student who paid £390,000 up front in rent for a Knightsbridge penthouse must hand over nearly half a million pounds, following an investigation by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).
Albanian drug dealers found with cocaine in a Primark shopping bag04/02/2019 08:20:00
Three Albanians – two who were in the UK illegally - found with a kilo of 92 per cent pure cocaine in a Primark bag have been jailed.
Man arrested over Christmas Day people smuggling attempt01/02/2019 11:15:00
A man has been arrested on suspicion of people smuggling offences as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into an attempt to reach the UK by small boat on Christmas Day 2018.
Five years for people smuggler caught in undercover NCA investigation31/01/2019 14:15:00
A man who helped organise a plot to smuggle illegal immigrants into the UK has been jailed for five years after an undercover NCA investigation.
NCA publishes annual assessment of county lines as over 600 arrested as part of national coordinated activity targeting drug dealing model30/01/2019 12:15:00
The National Crime Agency (NCA) yesterday published its fourth annual assessment into county lines drug supply, vulnerability and harm.
Users of illegal websites targeted in joint law-enforcement activity29/01/2019 14:15:00
The National Crime Agency, working with law enforcement partners from 14 countries, has taken action against a number of cyber criminals website users linked to four million attacks across the globe.